SACRAMENTO — Many Americans will soon receive advance payments on child tax credits through the American Rescue Plan Act, but experts are warning impostor scams are also likely to appear.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the IRS announced it is sending monthly payments via direct deposit, paper checks or through debit cards.
As an advance, eligible people will get up to half of their child tax credit in these monthly payments and the other half when they file their 2021 taxes. People can visit irs.gov to see who qualifies, how much you may receive and how to address any problems.
Both the BBB and Federal Trade Commission said in these instances when government payments are announced, scammers are likely to use their standard playbook, consisting of imposter scams with con artists pretending to “help” people get payments earlier, get more money or commit identity theft.
The BBB and the FTC have several tips for people to avoid impostor scams and be informed on what they may look like:
- Government agencies like the IRS or Social Security Administration will not call, text, DM or email you.
- Do not give out any personal information, like social security numbers, bank account information or credit/debit card numbers.
- Eligibility requirements and payment disbursements are monitored by the IRS only.
- When someone is requiring payments by gift card, wire transfers or cryptocurrency, it is likely a scam.
If you have been the victim of this or another scam, make others aware by filing a report on bbb.org/ScamTracker. You can also report scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.